Apple Is Developing Own MicroLED Screens: Bloomberg
Apple Inc is developing its own MicroLED device displays and has made small numbers of the screens for testing, Bloomberg reported, in a move that could hurt Asian display suppliers to the U.S. tech giant over the long-term.
The iPhone maker is developing next-generation MicroLED screens at a secret plant in California and has made a huge investment for this, according to the report.
MicroLED is a new display technology that has grabbed the attention of several tech firms. Screens using MicroLED are thinner, brighter, use less power and are more durable than the OLED displays that are increasingly being adopted for a variety of smart devices.
The new technology is however unproven and difficult to use, analysts say.
“It is not clear whether MicroLED will be better than the OLED displays Apple uses for its smartwatches. At this point, this seems to me that Apple wants to show off – its more of what look what we can do rather than a realistic alternative,” said Dongbu Securities analyst S.R. Kwon.
The secret project, code-named T159, is overseen by Lynn Youngs, who is in charge of iPhone and Apple Watch screen technology, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter.
The company will aim to use the new technology in its wearable computers first, it said. bloom.bg/2pnEEPW
Apple could not be immediately reached for comment.
MicroLED screens are flat panel displays that make gadgets thinner, brighter and uses less power compared with current OLED displays.
It is unlikely that the technology will reach an iPhone for at least three to five years as MicroLED screens are more difficult to produce than the current displays, Bloomberg said.
Apple is developing MicroLED screens at a secret plant in California in a project overseen by Lynn Youngs, who is in charge of iPhone and Apple Watch screen technology, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Apple currently designs chips for its mobile devices and a move into displays could hurt screen makers like Samsung Electronics Co, Japan Display Inc, Sharp Corp and LG Display Co in the long term.
Last year, chipmaker and Apple supplier Dialog Semiconductor Plc acknowledged that Apple could develop its own power chips.
Sharp Corp shares fell 2.6 percent, while Japan Display’s shares fell 1.5 percent and LG Display’s stock fell 1.4 percent on Sunday.
The move could also affect Apple’s suppliers like Synaptics Inc, which makes chips used in touchscreen technology, Bloomberg said.
Reporting by Lawrence Delevingne in New York and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Gopakumar Warrier.